“When you have pen friends you always feel there are boys and girls abroad who consider you a true friend,” the brochure stated. “In addition to letters, you can also exchange your own drawings, photos, postage stamps, records, etc. Maybe someday you can also visit your long-time pen friend.” I probably convinced my parents that same night (likely by crying) that I, too, needed this service, needed to find this true friend in my life.
“A lot of poetry today gets by with flairs of language, or superficial risks. But it’s about sincerity – it’s the same for fiction. I always hope that writing better means living better. I think the genre distinctions between poetry and fiction have more to do with marketing than anything else.”
I have to confess I used to avoid going to second-hand stores–not because I’m a snob, but because I’m sort of a hypochondriac. I always imagined those places teeming with viruses and crawling with germs. But my recent move to Ann Arbor as a grad student forced me to evaluate living a more practical lifestyle.